The Viennese actress Birgitta Bernhard studied Drama at the University of Vienna, trained in Dance and Musical Theatre, her earliest work includes performing and touring with the production of ‘Godspell’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ in the late 80s. In 1995 secured a character part in Richard Linklater’s highly acclaimed feature film ’Before Sunrise’.
During the 90s she worked with her dear, late friend Jean Yves Ginoux and his company for several dance theatre productions, in Paris, South of France and Vienna, including ‘Spirales des Pleurs’, and performing in ‘La Ronce n’est pas le pire’
She trained at the ‘Actor’s Studio’ in Vienna and when in 1991, she was awarded a grant by the Austrian Ministry of Culture, she moved to London, where she trained Method Acting at ‘Lee Strasberg’s Theatre Institute’ for three years, followed by monthly intensive workshops with Tony Greco in London, New York and Los Angeles. She then joined a professional Meisner Technique group with the late, exceptional teacher and her friend, Jean Fennell.
Based in London since the early 90s, after doing several successful plays on London’s fringe/off West End circuit, some of Birgitta’s recent acting work includes the role of Miriam in the award winning short film ‘The Glove’ directed by Luisa Pretolani, River Crossing Productions, as Mrs. Anwar in the highly acclaimed ’24 Hours in London’ directed by Paul Knight, self-penned ‘Wisteria Cottage’ directed by Marcus Thompson, in the role of Barbara, (with Kate Isitt, Jake Canuso, Amanda Ray-King, Darren Black and Matilda Cole), the role of Hannah in the short-film ‘’The Lift’, directed by Luisa Pretolani, River Crossing Productions.
Earlier she was cast in the ‘T- Boy show’ web-series, the nominated short-film ‘Taste’ by Booker Woodford, ‘Shoot for the Moon’ by Chris Wicket, the role of ‘The Butterfly Lady’, a wedding performer in the feature film ‘The Wedding Video’ by Tim Firth and directed by Nigel Cole. A couple of very interesting acting roles were ‘Salka Viertel’ doubled with the role of ‘Helga, a German Brechtian actress’ in 1931, in ‘The Empty Plan’, an independent film about Bertolt Brecht’s time in Hollywood during the early 40s, directed by Anja Kirchner and David Panos.
Another very enjoyable role for her was the ‘Choir Boy Mistress’ in the Universal Studios/Squirrel Film feature film production ‘Made in Dagenham’, also directed by Nigel Cole, whereas on the more dramatic, classical side, the filmed the role of the ‘German Landlady’ in the four part BBC TV-drama-series of ‘Crime and Punishment’, as well as the role of the highly manipulative therapist ‘Maxine’ in the award winning feature film ‘Do I love you?’ by Lisa Gornick.
In 2004, Birgitta founded with actor Carmine Canuso, the production company ‘Charismatic Productions Ltd’, with Peter Westcott and Kate Isitt joining as co-directors, in May 2016.
In the early 2000s, Charismatic Productions held several Rehearsed Readings at the Soho Theatre. The productions include: ‘Speaking in Tongues’ by Andrew Bovell, directed by Lois Norman, in which Birgitta performed the role of ‘Jane’, co-produced by Brian Brolly and Peta Boreham, ‘Empties’ an American play by Andy Wolfendon, in which she played the character of the mentally challenged ‘Ethel’, and the devised play ‘Scars’ by Bryan Oliver, in which she performed the role of ‘Maria’.
Birgitta is also a passionate writer, who with her incredibly creative writing partner Peter Westcott, is currently updating their completed, ten x 50 minutes episodes, TV comedy-drama ‘Sequin Deep’, which follows a top London, larger than life socialite and the characters she encounters on the London fashion scene, during recession,post Brext and pre Covid-19, in which she also has the part of ‘Romy’ secured. Having been selected as Finalists for the Pitch-Forum at EMIFF19 – the script was selected by four production companies; one Swiss, two British and one Spanish. The tight-knit ensemble of six actors: Jake Canuso, Kate Isitt, Raquel Cassidy, Philippe Brenninkmeyer, Amanda Ray-King/Thompson and herself – of course subject to availability, is very much looking forward to be working together, once again.
Being offered the part of Esther Roper, Eva Gore-Booth’s life-partner, Birgitta is also engaged in revising and editing the fourth draft of the Irish feature film ‘Sisters of Revolution’, written and directed by Siobhan Cleary; a very important story of the sisters Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth.
She is also cast as the lead in ‘’The Cook’, an upcoming feature film, directed and currently being written by Luisa Pretolani, for which they will soon shoot the trailer. Another collaboration with Luisa, Birgitta very much looks forward to.
She is fluent in English, French and German (mother-tongue), trained with Julia Wilson-Dickson and Penny Dyer on her RP, and has been working with the wonderful, sadly late Julia for many years on Standard American accents, as well as European accents. like French, Italian, Spanish, High German, Polish, Serbian, Czech and Russian.
Acting, more than anything gives her meaning, as she loves to infuse her characters with her energy and passion. Striving to make a difference through the stories she gives a voice to, she always works towards finding the truth in each of the characters she portrays, and the stories she writes, with all the enthusiasm and integrity she can muster!
“Being represented by ESRL Agency makes me feel understood and respected and I hope to return the respect, kindness and care Evelynne Ralph-Larner offers, through my work, success and recognition!” (Birgitta)
Equity: M00134806 | Location: London, United Kingdom